So The World May Hear Awards Gala

Celebrating the amazing things being done to make this world a better place

So The World May Hear

On July 17, the 16th So The World May Hear Awards Gala reflected the international, national, and local advancements made possible by the generosity of gala guests and partners who raised a record-breaking amount for Starkey Hearing Foundation in 2016.

This year marked a historic milestone with the opening of the Starkey Hearing Institute in Zambia, a simple, sustainable, and scalable WFA® community-based hearing health care model developed by William F. Austin, founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation and global humanitarian. At the Starkey Hearing Institute, students are equipped with academic rigor, resources, and tools to advance hearing health care services. 

In 2016, Starkey Hearing Foundation is also expanding international missions with ongoing services and self-empowerment tools. Hear Now program is on track for a 15 percent increase over 2015 to provide more hearing devices to those in need domestically. For Minnesota, gala proceeds support grants for local and regional nonprofits.

This year’s gala honorees included Jennifer Garner, award-winning actress and advocate for early childhood education. As trustee for Save the Children, Garner has traveled the country to learn firsthand how these programs impact children and families in need and has advocated to policymakers and government officials at every level. Local humanitarian, Paula F. Goldberg, executive director and co-founder of PACER, was celebrated for making PACER a lifeline for parents of children and young adults with all disabilities. Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Right Honourable Tony Blair was honored for philanthropic achievements in advancing Africa’s future.

In Starkey tradition, this year’s gala featured a stellar line-up of special guests and entertainers. Jay Leno had crowd rolling in laughter. The Hollywood Vampires, featuring Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp, rocked the ballroom. Award-winning country duo Maddie & Tae played some of their best hits. The Tenors serenaded the audience. American Idol winner Trent Harmon spun classics and singer-songwriter John Mellencamp wrapped up the show with a few crowd favorites.

Our sincere thank you to everyone involved for this record-breaking night that will help us give the gift of hearing to more people around the world.

Through The Years

Learn more about our past award galas.